The Bank of Canada Slipped the Konami Code Into a Bank Note Announcement

NEEEEEERRRRDDDDS.

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Apr 10 2017, 3:46pm

Flickr/Kris Wise

If there was any lingering doubt that the Canadian government is chock-full of fricking nerds whose lunch money I would like to relieve them of, the Bank of Canada's announcement of a shiny new 10 dollar bill on Friday convinced me.

Why? I'll be the first to admit that a web-based interactive 3D "experience" that lets you really examine every angle of the new bill is nerdy, but in a terribly drab jeans-and-blazer sort of way. What really takes this over the top, dear reader, is that someone in the Bank of Canada planted the Konami code as an Easter egg on the site.

The site doesn't advertise this, but Kotaku Australia noticed on Sunday that if you enter up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, on your keyboard, you'll be greeted with a shower of virtual bills and an 8-bit version of the Canadian national anthem.

The Konami code is a cheat code that first appeared in 1986 and has since made an appearance in dozens of classic games and series including Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, and even Metal Gear Solid. Its function is usually to unlock an Easter egg—a hidden surprise placed there by the developers—and whoever was behind the Bank of Canada stunt clearly took a page from that book.

Branches of Canadian government have made official announcements in some incredibly nerdy ways before. When the Canadian Senate released their report on bitcoin in 2015, it did so by embedding a message in the blockchain, the technology underlying the virtual currency.

As for why the Bank of Canada decided to do this, their answer is simple. "Konami code seemed like a fun way for the web team to celebrate Canada's [150th anniversary]," a spokesperson wrote me in an email.

And, the spokesperson wrote, the folks over there "love Nintendo and 8-bit music."

Bless this insufferable country.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the bank note was revealed on Sunday, when it was in fact revealed on Friday. The Easter egg was noticed on Sunday. Motherboard regrets the error.